My hearing rant (and seeking advice)

One thing i noticed is my wifes uncle has been wearing heaing aids for for 30 years, her other uncle has been wearing them for 20, and im getting my first set soon (im 35) but her 65 year old father refuses to get one because it makes him look (old) he cant hear anything and now thinks everone is leaving him out of conversations when in reality is he cant hear …and he knows it he has been hard of hearing for the last 40 years only its gotten worse over time and now he is deaf …we have tried telling him that his brother got them at 30 years old and while not perfect he hears with them and has repeatably said they aint perfect but hearing imperfectly is better than not hearing at all.

now my father was hard of hearing and didnt want an aid. but it was easy with him he didnt talk or want to be in conversations much. but my wifes fathe wants and demands to be involved with conversations or requires us to have the volume very high with captions on to watch tv or listen to talk radio in the car. whenever in public he shouts so that he can hear himself talk to people including the movie theater… and hes upset now that we refuse to take him to the movies or out to dinner anymore.

My wife thought that perhaps me being 35 years old and healthy but getting a hearing aid because of my ottosclerosis (sp) would help him but he still plays the well the sound aint perfect so i wont use it game.

What do we do Do get him to realize that imperfect hearing with an aid is better than not hearing at all? … he is driving his family away from him because of his paranoia that we are plaking old folk plans for him… when in reality we are talking normal value with his wife about his grandson. He doesnt have any form of dementia, he just see’s how poorly his sister treets his 90 year old mother and since he cant hear anything we say anymore he thinks we are constantly plotting against him.

Ill be honest His lack of hearing yet demanding to be part of everything is putting a strain on his relationship with his siblings his children and his wife.

is there any way to reach this man and convince him that an aid he could go out to dinner or movies with his wife and children again without fear of shouting and disturbing the whole place. that an aid would alow him to go see his daughter in law play play piano, that it would alow him to have a somehwat normal life again.

And for some reason this 67 year old 6 foot 8 man thats bald with whisps of white hair and glasses and pasty skin and a big ol pot belly that wearing a hearing aid will make him look “old” so as long as he is deaf as a doornail and doesnt wear an aid he has avoided being old? its not the fact that his knees are so bad he cant get in and out of the car or couch without pulling himself up on something, or that his reflexes and memory is shot that makes him old… its the silly piece of plastic behind his ear!

Does anyone here have any advice how to reach this difficult person and make him understand that its not us and the whole world around him that has to adjust to him but he has to make an effort to correct his issue himself?

And any advice for us on how we deal with it? :frowning:

he has to acknoledge that he has a hearing problem and that problem can he help or corrected. He need to understand hearing instruments do not provide a perfect hearing. Most people think HI are just like glasses…

he has to set realistic expectations… I had heard so many excuses…

What i dont understand is that he has 2 brothers and a brother in law and several other close relatives that have been wearing hearing aids successfully for the last 30 years… and now me his son in law at 35 will be getting his own soon.

Its not like he doesnt know anything about hearing aids or has no idea how usefull they are … and its not like he doesnt know he cant hear he readily admits that … his sole issue is the sound isnt Perfect and it makes him old.

So he would rather not do anything and see life go past him and the complain that nobody does anything with him. instead of him making an effort and correcting the problem very easily and join everybody again!

and sorry for the rant. have any ideas on how i can convince him to at least try?

You might get some results if he is exposed to the fact that thousands of young people wear aids.

Could you get him to read some of the postings on this and other active forums…he will be surprised to find so many young people with hearing problems.

One of the most active forums is hohadvocates at:

http://hohadvocates.org/wwwboard/index.php?bn=hohadvocates_hohconcerns

A while ago, (in the analogue era) I had a group of clients who liked to talk about their hearing loss, I had a list, and when I had a client like your friend
I would ask him-her to call them…

This might help… But Unless he acknowledge that he is hearing impared and that it can be help, it would be difficult…

I do not advise to force him to test something he does not really want to use…

Ideally, it would be nice to find an audiologist who is willing to let him try some hearing aids with no obligation to buy. I have recently had several new patients who for whatever reason (either personal experience or the reports of others) have a very negative image of hearing aids. You know what they say, if people are happy they tell one friend but if they are unhappy they tell 10. Anyways, these patients came into my office very warily. I let them try new hearing aids for a week or two, and they loved them and decided to purchase them. Make sure if you can actually get him to agree to go somewhere that it is not a “hard sell” type of practice, because I’m sure he will be out that door in a shot if it is.

May I ask how he can say the sound isn’t perfect (which of course it isn’t going to be, but that’s beside the point…) if he has not tried hearing aids? Many of the problems he may be associating with older hearing aids (feedback, poor sound quality, etc.) are not as prevalent with today’s aids. The hearing aid industry is trying to address the needs of the younger crowd, so many aids are more attractive and functional which might be enough to tip him into the “try it” category. Many older people are still picturing a huge ugly BTE, so actually seeing the available products can be helpful.

I know it’s a cliche, but people are going to think he is old if he doesn’t wear hearing aids, since they’ll obviously notice he can’t hear. The best thing is to be firm but supportive. If he complains he is being left out, tell him you are sorry he is missing the conversation and that you too felt that way until you addressed the situation with hearing aids.

Good luck (and good luck with your new aids when you get them!)

I agree with audigal… When I face clients like him, I would say - Give them an Honest try dont pass judgment- If you dont like them dont buy them… But you owe yourself to give them an honest try

At 65, he may remember the old type hearing aids that my grandfather
wore. You know, they were about the size of a cigarette pack and there
was a wire with an earpiece. I recall now, it never worked well for my
grandfather even when he used it and one had to display it for all to see.

Or, he may think he’ll look like all the nutty people walking around today
with the bluetooth handsfree cell phone pieces. You know, the people that
look straight at you and talk but they’re not really talking to you, they’re talking to the person on the cell phone. :frowning: